This story was updated in January 2019.
If there’s one clothing item that EVERY desi woman loves, it definitely has to be the kurti. Kurtis and kurtas are the heart and soul of Indian wear. Admit it, nothing can make you look as good and feel as light and comfortable as the kurti does. Be it the days when we just can’t decide what to wear or on special occasions, kurtis always come in handy. The best part? They can be accessorised, styled and paired with a host of different separates upping the fashion game effortlessly.
So, this season, let’s give our western wear a rest and switch to Indian wear for a pretty year ahead. We give you the latest edition of kurtis and kurtas that will make you look your stunning best. Read on to find out the different types of kurtis, the most stylish neck designs for kurtis and how to style these fabulous pieces like your favourite Bollywood celebrities.
Before we start off with all that, first things first - what is the difference between a kurti and a kurta? The two terms are often used interchangeably. Primarily, there is only one difference between the two Indian styles and that is:
A kurti is short in length measuring around your waist or hips.
A kurta is longer typically knee-length, calf-length or floor-length.
Having known the quintessential difference between the two, let’s move on to the different types and styles of kurtis and kurtas. For your convenience, we’ll be referring to the style as kurti.
There are several different types of kurtis with several silhouettes. These can be divided based on the style of the hemline, the shape and fit of the kurti or other statement-making features. Broadly speaking, here are 15 different types of kurtis:
As the name suggests, a high-low kurti is characterised by the kurta’s hemline where the front of the kurta is higher and the back of the kurta is lower. The design is casual, wearable but still has this dressy, feminine and flirty vibe to it.
POPxo Recommends: Red & Yellow Floral Print Crepe Straight Kurta (Rs 674) by Jashn at flat 55% off.
An asymmetric kurti is usually an A-line kurta with an out of symmetry hemline which is not going to be consistent at all. Something like this.
POPxo Recommends: Pink Solid A-Line Kurta (Rs 1,690) by Faballey Indya at 35% off.
A flared kurti is a kurti that’s super wide at the hemline. These make for a great summer staple thanks to their flowy fabric and easy-breezy look and feel.
POPxo Recommends: Embroidered Flared Kurta with Tie-Up (Rs 980) by Ajio at flat 65% off.
Traditional Indian wear with a stylish twist, slit kurtis are the new sexy and there’s no denying it. A traditional kurti has two slits on the side while this has one huge slit running right on the front. This style usually comes in a longline style and is perfect to garner enough attention and make it the centerpiece of your ensemble.
POPxo Recommends: Pink & Black Printed A-Line Kurta (Rs 849) by W at flat 50% off.
Anarkali is a form of women's dress originating in Lahore, Pakistan. The anarkali is made up of a long, frock-style top usually paired with slim-fitted bottoms, though, it can be paired with palazzos too. Its heavy flares make it an ideal option for special occasions like weddings.
POPxo Recommends: Black Solid Anarkali Kurta (Rs 959) by Anouk at flat 60% off.
A-line kurtis are narrower at the torso and gradually widen towards the hemline making it a top choice for women with a muffin top. In fact, they are ultra-feminine, pretty and have the perfect silhouette to flatter every body type.
POPxo Recommends: Blue Striped South Cotton Woven Legacy A-Line Kurta with Pockets (Rs 1,189) by Taavi at 30% off.
An angrakha is derived from the Sanskrit word angaraksaka which means a garment that is worn to protect the body. Think of it as a wrap dress. It overlaps and is tied to one of the sides of your body just below your bust.
POPxo Recommends: Embroidered Pure Silk Viscose Anarkali Kurta (Rs 2,399) by Indie Picks at 40% off.
Remember at the beginning of the year we made a fashion forecast for Indian wear in 2018? Well, ponchos have successfully replaced the good ‘ol cape style kurta and they’ve fashion written all over it! A poncho style kurta looks like a poncho only longer. If you have a thing for keeping up with fashion trends, this ones a must-have.
POPxo Recommends: Yellow Solid Kaftan Kurta (Rs 1,990) by The Silhouette Store.
A tiered kurti, as is evident, is a kurti where the frock is made to look as if it is layered on top of other like tiers. This type of technique works best with flared kurtas to add more drama to the outfit.
POPxo Recommends: Blue Dyed A-Line Tiered Kurta (Rs 999) by Imara at flat 50% off.
A straight kurti has a sharp straight hemline and fit, which makes it the most appreciated number for office thanks to its crisp formal look. You need one that’s contemporary, modern in design yet boasts subtle Indian elements. Opt for a longer length to give yourself a taller and slimmer figure.
POPxo Recommends: Mustard Yellow Solid Straight Kurta (Rs 699) by Here&Now at flat 50% off.
Kurtas that can double up as dresses aka kurtas that can be worn without any bottoms are called kurta dresses. They range between a midi to maxi length and don’t have any slits. A kurta dress is the most stylish answer to all our fashion woes. It looks really interesting and has a boho feel to it.
POPxo Recommends: Green & Golden Printed Maxi Dress (Rs 934) by AKS at 45% off.
A shirt style kurti has to have two characteristic features - one, the typical shirt spread collar, and two, the button-down fastening. A collared kurta that is functional and fits well is a wardrobe essential. And it’s a nice break from the round necklines that are usually crowding your closet.
POPxo Recommends: Yellow & Red Printed Straight Kurta (Rs 787) by Vishudh at flat 55% off.
Dhoti style kurtis are a mix of high-low and asymmetrical hems with a cowl cut design at the hemline. They ensure an effortless Indo-western fusion look when paired with trousers or churidars. Try it!
POPxo Recommends: Peach-Coloured & Gold-Toned Printed Straight Kurta (Rs 2,100) by Faballey Indya at 25% off.
A jacketed kurti adds an interesting definition to your outfit and amps up your style instantly. It usually comes attached with a jacket and has a longline silhouette. You can also mix two separate patterns together to get the look. Try combining Indian prints such as ajrakhs, dabu with other block prints to create an interesting look.
POPxo Recommends: Sleeveless Straight Kurta with Printed Jacket (Rs 1,150) by Ajio at flat 50% off.
A layered kurti gives the illusion of two kurtis when, typically, it is your regular straight cut or long kurti only except the hemline has an additional layer. The style looks best in a flared silhouette and is a great festive wear option.
POPxo Recommends: Pink & Golden Printed Layered A-Line Kurta (Rs 1,899) by Aurelia.
A woman who likes to wear kurtis, likes to experiment with different styles too. Of course, we all have our favourites but trying some new designs never hurt anyone. Here are 15 latest and prettiest kurti neck designs (no, we don’t mean round neckline) that are hot in trend right now:
As the name suggests, a V-neck design is a neckline in the shape of the letter ‘V’. The cut usually ends above your cleavage - covering without giving up even an inch of the glamour quotient.
POPxo Recommends: Hand Block Printed Textured Cotton Dobby Kurta (Rs 1,100) by Indie Picks at flat 50% off.
Just like your shirts and jackets have collars, so do kurtis now and we couldn’t be happier. The shirt-style spread collar makes for a fancy and slightly formal kurti neck design. This neckline is the most suitable for heavy-bodied women. Although, every body type can adorn the neck design.
We’re loving this kurta in the Pantone colour of the year 2019 ‘Living Coral’. This is all you need to add a dash of brightness to your day.
POPxo Recommends: Coral Orange Solid Pathani Kurta (Rs 1,299) by Gerua.
Mandarin collar is a clean-cut close-fitting neckline. An ideal option for office wear, the mandarin collar neck design can make your 9-to-5 stylish and comfy effortlessly. It has a shorter collar than the regular shirt collar and is also upright instead of having a spread silhouette.
POPxo Recommends: Lime Green Printed A-Line Kurta (Rs 899) by Rangmanch at 10% off.
As is suggestive of the name, a boat neck design is shaped like a boat. As against the round and U-shaped neckline, boat neckline has a smaller cut and makes your shoulders look wider. This neck design is ideal for women with a small bust. Avoid it if you have broad shoulders or a short neck.
POPxo Recommends: Pink & Navy Solid Straight Kurta (Rs 809) by Ojjasvi at 10% off.
A cowl neck design hangs in draped folds, just like a scarf wrapped around the neck. This neck design is usually seen on sweaters but over a period of time, it has evolved in kurtis as well. The best part? It is highly suitable for heavy-chested women as the drapes cover the bust. It also looks great on small busted women as it adds volume. It is one of the less popular neck designs but so unique and stylish.
POPxo Recommends: Grey & Maroon Printed A-Line Kurta (Rs 649) by AKS at flat 50% off.
A halter neck design is held up by a strap around the neck giving you an elegant yet sexy look. It can either be tied up at the back of your neck or joined together with a hook and eye fastening. A halter neck kurti doesn’t have any sleeves and is designed to flaunt the shoulders in style. Typically, it comes in a backless design but if you are getting it stitched, you can have a choice to cover your back fully or halfway. Remember, a dupatta should be avoided with this neckline as it can spoil the show.
POPxo Recommends: Foil Print Halter Neck Tunic (Rs 1.820) by Faballey Indya at 30% off.
You’ll soon realise, the off-shoulder style looks as awesome on Indian wear! The trend has stylishly taken over our kurtis owing the sexy bared shoulder look with a desi twist. The neckline starts at the shoulders leaving all of your neck and shoulders completely bare. Think of it as a regular top with the sleeves pulled down to your shoulder level. It is a flat neckline and an elegant option for special occasions.
POPxo Recommends: Blue Printed A-Line Off-Shoulder Kurta (Rs 899) by Anouk at flat 50% off.
The cold-shoulder neckline also doubles as a statement-making sleeve owing to the bare shoulder trend from the west. Unlike the off-shoulder, cold-shoulder neck design has a complete neckline with cutouts over the shoulder parts.
POPxo Recommends: Maroon & Golden Printed A-Line Kurta (Rs 799) by Libas at flat 50% off.
The square neckline, as can be guessed, is in the shape of a square. The neckline tends to elongate a short neck and also narrows the shoulders giving you a flattering look and feel. Although, if you have a square face, you should avoid the neck design. If you are not sure about your face shape, find out here.
POPxo Recommends: Pink Printed Anarkali Kurta (Rs 1,299) by The Silhouette Store.
The name is inspired from the keyhole of a lock as it forms a similar pattern on your garments. This neck design on a kurti looks super stylish and feminine. Usually accompanied with a mandarin collar, it is essentially a hole in the shape of a teardrop that meets in the centre just below your collar bones. If an elaborate neckline is what you are aiming for, the keyhole neck design it is!
POPxo Recommends: Navy Blue and Golden-Coloured Printed A-Line Kurta (Rs 1,249) by Get Glamr at flat 50% off.
A scoop neck is nothing but a relaxed round neckline in a deep and spread out ‘U’ shape. In other words, it has a full curve that is deep and has a large width. This kurti is an ode to looking your fashionable best while feeling relaxed and comfortable. Try this style if you love unstructured silhouettes and a simple round neck. This neckline will look great on you if you have narrow shoulders or a small bust or a short neck.
POPxo Recommends: Blue & Off-White Dyed A-Line Kurta (Rs 1,119) by Drama Sister at 20% off.
Since the neckline looks like the top of a heart it is called a sweetheart neckline. This type of kurti neck design suits all women - be it shape, size or body type. It makes your bust line appear more curvaceous and that is what makes it an ideal choice among women with a small bust. Sweet, isn’t it?
POPxo Recommends: Green Solid A-Line Kurta (Rs 1,019) by Abhishti at 40% off.
The shawl collar neck design is a turned-over collar of a garment that looks like a lapel. It can be understood as a collar rolled in one piece that is curved from the back down to the front, forming a V-neck silhouette. Usually, the collar part is in a different colour and pattern than the rest of the kurti highlighting the stylish neck design.
POPxo Recommends: Green Solid Anarkali Kurta (Rs 878) by Shakumbhar at flat 60% off.
A great way to wear your kurtis during the cold winter season is by opting for one with a high-neck design. It will keep you protected from the harsh chills while making you look your stylish best, of course. And while you are at it, make sure you go for a fully sleeved kurti in a warmer material if possible. This neckline will give you a trendy and sophisticated look.
POPxo Recommends: Turtleneck Kurta with Embroidered Yoke (Rs 525) by Ajio at 65% off.
A peter pan collar is a flat collar with rounded, curved edges. Since the neck design lends a more western look to the kurti, avoid pairing it with traditional salwars and dupattas. Avoid necklaces, and accessorise with pretty earrings to glam up your look.
POPxo Recommends: Polka-Dot Print Kurta with Asymmetrical Hem (Rs 700) by Ajio at flat 65% off.
Since kurtis and kurtas are worn very often, by so many Indian women, it’s essential to keep it fresh and creative. There are several ways to style the quintessential kurti. And Bollywood exhibits them all - kurtis over sarees, kurtis with jeans, kurtas as dresses, you name it. They’ve basically recreated the kurta look, and they’ve done it oh-so-well.
If you want to truly stand out and not pick run-of-the-mill pieces but want something unique, take cues from these looks. Knock yourself out with these five chic new ways to wear the style, and thank us later.
This look is the best version of the kurti I’ve ever seen. If you’re feeling bold, try this ensemble at your next wedding appearance. Turn your floor length, button up or shirt-style kurta into a jacket, and wear it with a cotton saree. Keep it simple w.r.t accessories, and stick to antique jhumkas. Simple, but genius.
This Indian look is a keeper. You know why? Because it’s contemporary in the best way, but still close to home. Do it like Shilpa Shetty - wear your kurti with an eclectic dupatta secured at the waist by a chunky statement belt. If you want the exact same look, add metallic leggings and pointy pumps for that extra oomph.
If you have kurtis with bold slits, you need to have this outfit in your style file. All slits work - side, centre, off-centre. All you need to do is wear your favourite jeans under the kurti, with a matching pair of low-top ankle boots.
Not only will this style give you an instant folksy look, kurtis with skirts look amazing. It’s all about experimenting with new silhouettes and a flared skirt is a great way to go about it. It’s a combination that will look fab and exciting at the same time.
This is such a chic way to style your sleeveless kurtas. Wear them with or without the bottoms. But the ONE detail to keep in mind is the cape-like drape of the dupatta. Pick a sheer dupatta for maximum cape impact; accessorize the outfit with a choker.
While you are at it, have a look at these seven easy styles in which Team POPxo loves to wear their kurtis. You’re welcome, ladies.
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